Windows 8 Ousts Android

Gotthard Tischner, executive board member at cundus AG, a BI consulting firm

Mr. Tischner, your cNews app for iPad won second prize in the SAP Partner Appiade at CeBIT 2012. Have there been any further developments with cNews since then?

What’s new is that documents and data now update themselves. So if someone works on a document in the evening, the latest version is right there for co-workers to see on their iPads next morning. As if someone snuck it into your briefcase for you overnight. Basically, it’s an app that delivers information to decision-makers. But the information doesn’t just appear on your screen for you, it also takes comments. It turns a PDF into an interactive document that can include discussion about the content. And it has a push function: You can work on documents offline.

And it all works without reinventing your reports…

That’s right. You already have your up-to-date monthly, weekly, or daily management reports, sales reports, and other documents as PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, or BusinessObjects Crystal Reports.

What matters is for the app to slot seamlessly into the SAP world …

We will clear it through the SAP certification process by the end of 2012. That means the app is tested for complete documentation and technical functionality. It can go on the SAP Store once it’s certified.

Read on the next page why security is slowing down tablet adoptionForrester Research says 85% of managers will be making decisions with the help of apps on tablets and smart phones in 2012, and 33% of all BI queries will be made on mobile devices. The main app markets are business analytics and business intelligence. But there are some rivers to cross …

There certainly are: Security is the sticking point – for decision makers, but especially for IT departments. iPad users, and people who could be using iPads, don’t have a big voice in company IT organizations. The challenge is to alter that. But it requires a change of mindset. T-Systems, for example, now offer a simple cloud device management service that is based, as it happens, on the SAP Afaria solution.

The iPad tablet currently dominates the market. Should we expect most business apps to be for the iPad?

At the moment, the iPad is way ahead. It’s been on the market for three years and has achieved a very high level of maturity. But many company IT departments are more at home with devices that reach something like notebook security standards. That points to the Windows 8 tablets, which are just around the corner. Expect another great leap forward in the next one to two years. The price of the tablets themselves is not so critical in the context of total cost of ownership: What matters most is that they must integrate well into existing infrastructures and application landscapes.